Fishing for Mudcats: Lindor soars while the Muddies sink
Lindor is ready for Akron...period...
From the Bait Shop:
It’s been two weeks since the last visit to the bait shop. The IBI crew got together at Lake County for a fun-filled weekend, and I put the weekly notebook to bed for that week. I’d like to say that we’re back and better and ever, but the Mudcats have only won four games over the last two weeks. That’s just not going to get it done.
The offense wasn’t horrible last week. They managed to hit .256, and they managed four homers and ten doubles. The problem with the offense is that it really was carried by one player, with a bit of help from a couple of other guys. The irony here is that the Carolina Mudcats offense is leading the league in average and on base percentage, and second in OPS. The power numbers just aren’t there, as they are last in home runs, and the all-important runs scored. You can’t win games if you aren’t scoring runs.
The offense was average to below average, but the pitching just wasn’t very good. The starters struggled all week, and while there were some relievers that pitched well, many of them came into the game after it was over. Overall, the team ERA was 4.97 for the week, and they struck out 50 batters in 58 innings. They also walked 26, and gave up 63 hits overall…just not great numbers. Carolina’s overall team ERA is a rising 3.98, and they’ve given up the second most earned runs, and the most home runs in the league.
The team is struggling in early May, and while there is plenty of time to win some games this season, there are plenty of question marks heading towards the summer that makes me believe that this team could continue to struggle over the rest of the year. When you consider the player that I believe will be leaving for Akron soon, it could get really bad, really quickly.
Let’s go fishing…
Where we stand after Week #4:
|2013 Carolina League Current Standings|
|Carolina League Northern|
|Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL)||16||12||0.571||-||W2|
|Frederick Keys (BAL)||17||13||0.567||-||W3|
|Potomac Nationals (WSH)||15||15||0.500||2||W1|
|Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC)||13||17||0.433||4||L2|
|Carolina League Southern|
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX)||17||13||0.567||-||L1|
|Winston-Salem Dash (CWS)||15||15||0.500||2||L2|
|Salem Red Sox (BOS)||14||14||0.500||2||W2|
|Carolina Mudcats (CLE)||11||19||0.367||6||L4|
Week #4 Games:
|June 2013 (all times local unless noted)|
|28 @ Frederick, L 5-10 (WP: T. Berry; LP: J. Lee; SV: M. Bischoff)|
|29 @ Potomac, Postponed: Inclement Weather|
|30 @ Potomac, L 0-5 (WP: B. Schwartz; LP: S. Morimando)|
|30 @ Potomac, L 3-4 (WP: D. Self; LP: E. Tejeda)|
|May 2013 (all times local unless noted)|
|1 @ Potomac, W 3-2 (WP: O. Dew; LP: R. Mirowski; SV: J. Johnson)|
|2 @ Potomac, L 1-5 (WP: T. Jordan; LP: C. Anderson; SV: D. Self)|
|3 vs. Frederick, L 3-4 (WP: T. Winegardner; LP: E. Tejeda; SV: M. Prado)|
|4 vs. Frederick, L 4-7 (WP: T. Howard; LP: R. Nixon)|
This Week’s Transactions:
|4/30/2013||RHP Will Roberts assigned to Akron Aeros from Carolina Mudcats.|
|4/29/2013||RHP Jordan Cooper assigned to Akron Aeros from Carolina Mudcats.|
|4/29/2013||C Jake Lowery assigned to Akron Aeros from Carolina Mudcats.|
|5/4/2013||Carolina Mudcats activated LHP Elvis Araujo from the 7-day disabled list.|
|4/29/2013||OF Luigi Rodriguez assigned to Carolina Mudcats from Lake County Captains.|
|4/29/2013||RHP Joseph Colon assigned to Carolina Mudcats from Lake County Captains.|
|4/29/2013||LF Aaron Siliga assigned to Carolina Mudcats from Mahoning Valley Scrappers.|
|4/29/2013||Carolina Mudcats placed RF Anthony Gallas on the 7-day disabled list. left shoulder strain|
Offensive Player of the Week: Francisco Lindor
This one isn’t even close. I fully expect Lindor to win Carolina League player of the week, as he’s just been outstanding. He’s played in all seven ballgames for the Muddies, and in 27 at bats, he has 14 hits, with a slash-line of .519/.567/.815, which adds up to an unbelievable 1.381 OPS. He racked up three doubles, which tied for the team lead with Jerrud “Sabour Tooth” Sabourin. He had one of the team’s two triples, had a homer, and led the team with six RBI. He also led the team with five runs as well. The only shock from Lindor was that he didn’t have a stolen base.
I know that Ronny Rodriguez and Jose Ramirez are both in front of him at Akron, and I know they are both highly thought of. Get over that. Lindor is on a different level than either guy, and that includes Jose Ramirez. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of both Ramirez and Rodriguez. I firmly believe that Ramirez can be an above average major leaguer, and I think RRod can be potentially be an every-day guy as well. Lindor is going to be special. You definitely should let a guy get seasoned, and you shouldn’t rush players just for the sake of rushing them, but when they force the issue, you make the move.
Lindor should be back in Ohio by the end of May if he continues hitting at this pace. If you have to swap him with someone, you do that. If you have to bump up a guy from Akron to Columbus, you do that. It’s not like Columbus is harboring the great middle infielders of our era. Hell, if you moved Lindor TO Columbus, I’d be okay with that.
Agree with me…disagree with me…I don’t care. I’ve been watching minor league baseball for 20 years, and I can count on one hand the players that have looked this good live, and are this seasoned and mature off it. He’s ready to go…soon.
The best of the rest:
Jordan Smith has really come around over the past two weeks, after living in the mud in the first two weeks of the season. Two weeks ago, Smith hit .357, and he followed that up with a .320 week. Over those two weeks though, he’s only had three extra base hits, including two this week, a homer and a double. That’s really been the knock on Smith going forward, as he hasn’t developed that solid power for a guy his size. Still, you have to like to see Smith connecting with the ball. The power will come with warmer weather, and it hasn’t been warm here in Carolina as of yet.
Justin Toole had a nice week. He’s a career minor leaguer, but still manages to put together the types of weeks that really gives him value to a professional organization. He can play anywhere in the field, and he hit .304 for the week.
Luigi Rodriguez made his debut this week with the Muddies, and he hit .273, with his first Carolina League triple. He did strike out six times, but that actually may be good for him, in his six games.
In the Mud:
You could go anywhere with this. Aaron Siliga hit only .077 in his first four games of play in the Carolina League, but I’m not sure that’s even a surprise. Yhoxian Medina hit .118 in five games, and Zach MacPhee hit .143, but again, no real surprises there. Charlie Valerio followed up his HUGE week last week by hitting only .217, but he did manage to lead the team with two homers. The Sabour-Tooth tiger only hit .222, but he did hit three triples. There just isn’t a lot of offense to be had on this team past the top two or three guys right now, and that doesn’t bode well for the long term success of this team.
Pitcher of the Week: Owen Dew
There are a lot of directions that I could have gone here, but decided to go with Owen Dew out of the pen. Dew isn’t a top prospect, and I don’t think he ever will be. He reminds me a bit of Kyle Landis, who missed the entire 2010 season before coming back successfully in 2011. Dew missed the 2012 season, and came back this year and has found some success. This week, Dew went five shutout innings, giving up only a walk and three hits during that stretch. You really can’t ask for more than that. That marks four straight appearances in which he hasn’t given up a run. Dew’s not going to dominate you, but he does know how to pitch. I’m hoping this continues throughout the season.
He was the only Mudcat to get a win this week.
The best of the rest:
Elvis Araujo made his 2013 debut this week, and went 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, but only one was earned. What is impressive about his debut is that he was perfect through three. I like Araujo, and while I don’t think he’s dominating, I do think there is major league potential there. The big thing is stamina and health. If he can manage both, I think he could be a surprise over the next couple of years.
Joseph Colon went six innings, while striking out seven this week, and I like him as much as Araujo. He gave up two earned runs, and really needs to show consistency to become a factor. Araujo and Colon could make a move in a system that doesn’t have a bunch of starters.
Jeff Johnson continues to be consistent, but just doesn’t get many opportunities for saves. He went two near-perfect innings, striking out one, walking one, and saving one.
J.D. Reichenbach went four innings in two games, giving up four hit, a walk and an earned run. He’s like Justin Toole to me. He’ll never make it to the majors, but could hang around in the minors for awhile.
In the Mud:
You really could go on-and-on-and-on here. Former pitchers of the week Shawn Morimando and Cody Anderson had matching 7.50 ERAs, and Jacob Lee outdid them with a 10.50. When your three top starters get crushed, you aren’t going to have a great week. Rob Nixon fell to a 7.20 ERA and Grant Sides continued his dark season with a 5.40 ERA on the week. That’s not everyone, but I think it gives you the point I was trying to make. This wasn’t a good week for Muddies pitching.
Next Week’s Fishing Expedition:
|5 vs. Frederick, 2:00 PM|
|7 @ Salem, 7:05 PM|
|8 @ Salem, 11:00 AM|
|9 @ Salem, 7:05 PM|
|10 vs. Lynchburg, 7:15 PM|
|11 vs. Lynchburg, 6:15 PM|
The View Astern:
The Muddies are a confusing team to look at with regards to their stats. They lead the league in hitting with a .270 average, but thy really aren’t that good. The lit up the numbers last week with big weeks from Valerio and Sabourin, who both hit over .400. This week, Lindor really skewed their numbers as well. It’s not a .270 team, but that was their average overall at the end of the week.
I like the starters right now. Cody Anderson, Shawn Morimando, Elvis Araujo and Joseph Colon can be good.
Lindor needs to go to Akron, and I honestly have no patience for anyone that disagrees with that. I get the thinking…you don’t have to explain it to me. I just don’t agree with it. He’s ready for Akron, and I’m done even paying attention to those that think otherwise.
Injuries are killing this team. Bryson Myles and Joey Wendle are prominent players that are on the DL right now, along with Anthony Gallas and Todd Hankins. That’s four starters. If you look at the Muddies lineup right now, past a few guys, you have to be scratching your head wondering where in the hell did all the prospects go.
Jerrud Sabourin is still one of my favorite players in this league. I just love guys that keep doing what nobody expects them to.
There are a lot of mustaches here at Carolina…
Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.